China Air Pollution
As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, China has abundant tourism resources, the vast majority of which are of great renown. However, the number of tourists visiting China declined from 2013, mostly due to its increasingly serious air pollution. Many cities have been adversely affected by hazy weather since the beginning of 2013. This is especially true of central and eastern China’s cities such as Tangshan, Jinan, Zhengzhou, and Xi'an for example.
It is known to all that the rapid development of China’s economy in the past 30 years resulted in environmental degradation. Nevertheless, the hazy weather records of China in 2013 attracted global attention. It is a pity that as a consequence some foreign residents choose to give up their jobs and life in China.
As what can be seen from the above map, central China, eastern and south China are the most effected districts, especially the Yangtze River Delta including Shanghai. Not without consequence, this air pollution map is almost the same as the map of China’s population distribution. The air quality is good in most part of northern and northwest China. Furthermore, the hazy weather has obvious seasonal characteristic, which usually occurs in the autumn and winter.
Air Quality Index (AQI)
As the new standard of measurement for air quality, AQI is a quantitative description of the air quality index. The major pollutants involved in the analysis including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), inhalable particles (PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO). Here PM2.5 and PM10 are measured in micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3).
According to “Technical Regulation on Ambient Air Quality Index (on trial)”, AQI is divided into six levels in total, with Level one being the best and Level six being the worst.
AQI and Health Implications
|AQI||Air Quality||Health Implications|
|0–50||Excellent||No air pollution.|
|51–100||Good||Few hypersensitive individuals should reduce the time for outdoor activities.|
|101–150||Lightly Polluted||Slight irritations may occur, children, and those who with breathing or heart problems should reduce outdoor exercise.|
|151–200||Moderately Polluted||Irritations may occur, and it may have an impact on healthy people’s heart and / or respiratory system, so all people should reduce the time for outdoor exercise.|
|201–300||Heavily Polluted||Healthy people will be noticeably affected. People with breathing or heart problems will lack exercise tolerance. Those patients, children and elders should remain indoors.|
|300+||Severely Polluted||Even healthy people will lack endurance during activities. There may be strong irritations and symptoms. So all people should avoid outdoor activities.|
Air Quality Rankings of Chinese Major Tourist Cities in 2019
|Rank||City||Province belongs to||AQI||Air Quality Level||PM 2.5||PM 10|
Note: AQI and Air Quality Level may vary day by day; the data here is just average value for reference only.
I will be going to the following destinations and would like to know if I will need a mask. I am healthy and will be doing a lot of hiking/sightseeing.
-Mutianyu Great Wall
-Mt Fanjing near Tongren
-Beijing (oct 26-27th)